Earlier this week Houston Texans Cheerleaders Taylor and Kristia teamed up with Sylvia Avila of the Houston Food Bank to teach teens at the Buckner Family Hope Center at Aldine about food preparation and healthy eating. The visit was part of the six-week “Cooking Matters” program led by the Food Bank and the Texans.
 
Wesley Bumpus, lifeskills coordinator for the Family Hope Center, said the program helps teens “learn about different food and try different, new and healthier foods. The instructor, Sylvia Avila, teaches them about nutrition and how to read labels, how to properly wash their hands and food, and how to safely use knives.”
 
The course is interactive. The first hour is about nutrition and the second hour is hands-on, cutting the food, preparing the food and cooking the food. Everyone then tries the food they just prepared and discuss what they do or don't like about it. At the end of class, the Houston Food Bank sends the kids with a bag of groceries of what they just cooked so they can go home and prepare it for their families.
 
Bumpus said the Texans “helped the kids prepare the food and talked with them about healthy habits – and they ate the food with the teens.” He also noted that food preparation is a key component in the Family Hope Center’s teen curriculum, which stresses preparation for independence.  

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